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Tricks of the Mind

Come and hear some of the world’s leading experts explain how our minds can distort and deceive, including how they often play a role in generating a wide range of paranormal experiences. Discussion will include magic, time distortion, hypnotism and past-life regression.

Centre for Inquiry UK, The British Humanist Association and Conway Hall presents
Tricks of the Mind

11.00 - Daniela Rudloff: Mental ‘Short-Cuts’ - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Can we trust our eyes? Why does a footballer’s performance usually drop right after they’ve been sold to a high-paying football club? What exactly is “anchoring”, and why are we doing it on dry land?
Daniela Rudloff will answer these and other questions by giving an introduction to the everyday mental shortcuts and biases we often employ, arguing that even though they might be misleading, they are also necessary – and almost impossible to avoid.
Daniela has always had a profound interest in critical thinking, leading her to join the German Skeptics in 1994. In 2006 she commenced a PhD in Psychology to find out what keeps Joe Bloggs from being a rational, reasonable and sceptical person.
12.00 - Claudia Hammond: Time Warped
We are obsessed with time, but why does it play so many tricks on us? Why does time slow down when you're afraid and speed up as you get older? Drawing on the latest research from the fields of psychology, neuroscience and biology, and using original research on the way memory shapes our understanding of time, the awarding-winning writer and broadcaster Claudia Hammond delves into the mysteries of time perception and how the mind creates a sense of time.
Claudia is an award-winning broadcaster, writer and psychology lecturer. She is the presenter of All in the Mind & Mind Changers on BBC Radio 4 and the Health Check on BBC World Service Radio every week and BBC World News TV every month. Claudia is a columnist for BBC.com and the author of "Time Warped: Unlocking the Mysteries of Time Perception" and "Emotional Rollercoaster - a journey through the science of feelings" which won the Aoen Transmission Prize in February 2013.
2.00 - Martin S Taylor: More Lives Than One?

Martin S Taylor became interested in hypnosis when he was studying for a PhD at Imperial College, and soon became well known on the student circuit with his science based lecture-demonstration. At first he believed in the traditional view that hypnosis is a special induced state of mind, but discussions with friends and his experience with his own hypnotic subjects led him to subscribe to the 'social-compliance' view, namely that hypnosis is best explained by normal, well-understood psychological principles.
He now makes a living as a lecturer and consultant on hypnosis, talking and demonstrating at schools, universities, and anywhere else they'll pay him. It was at one of Martin's lectures that Derren Brown was inspired to take up his career, and Martin has worked with Derren on a number of recent television shows. Recently he has been working as a hypnosis consultant for Paramount Pictures, producing promotional videos for horror films.
In today’s talk, Martin will be examining the notion that hypnosis can be used to get people to remember past lives, a phenomenon taken by many as evidence of reincarnation.
3.00 - Robert Teszka: Mind and Magic
Robert Teszka is a cognitive psychologist, magician, science promoter, and massive geek. He uses the techniques of misdirection to study the psychology of attention and awareness at Goldsmiths University, and has travelled internationally to give lectures on the surprising insights of cognitive psychology.
Mind and Magic is a talk about how our own minds deceive us as readily as any magician, and how magician's tricks can help us understand our minds a bit better. Expect a curated collection of demonstrations, experiments, and original research - and perhaps a magic trick or two - as Rob attempts to convince you that sometimes, you just can't trust your own mind.
Organized and introduced by Stephen Law.
Doors 10.30am (registration) (speakers at 11-1, 2-4pm). Ends 4pm.The fact that these claims have survived despite continual empirical refutation is hardly surprising given the long history of anti-vaccinationism; anti-vaccination movements sprang to life alongside the very first smallpox vaccine and have dogged the medical profession ever since. This talk will present a brief history of anti-vaccinationism, from the 18th Century to the present day.
Rob Brotherton is a doctoral candidate at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he was awarded an ESRC scholarship to carry out a PhD examining the psychology of conspiracy theories. Rob is Assistant Editor of The Skeptic (www.skeptic.org.uk)


Dr Stephen Law | talks | www
Mrs Daniela Rudloff | talks | www
Ms Claudia Hammond | talks
Martin Taylor | talks | www


Date and Time:

30 March 2013 at 10:30 am


Half Day



Conway Hall
25 Red Lion Square
020 7242 8032

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